September 4th, 2007 – by: Auditarchi
Today I was about to sightsee Funchal which I could do on foot because it's not such a big city. Funchal is situated south of Madeira and lies in a bay at the coast. It's the most important spot of the island because the airport is situated here and so a lot of tourists as well. The city provides loads of accommodation possibilities for the visitor and even more big hotels rise from the ground. As a result of tourism, Funchal is very important for the island's economy and is also the most populated although Madeira only counts 250,000 inhabitants. Other 'big' cities are Machico which used to be the former capital and Porto Moniz'.
In Funchal there's the St- Catarina park which is worth a visit.
There are a lot of flowers and you get wonderfull views of the city, the Atlantic and the harbour. This park is also dedicated to Christopher Colombus the Portuguese discoverer who set foot on the island (or was he Italian?), the harbour is very close to this park and next to it a boulevard guides traffic along the shore. Here you can book boat tours and other trips on the island. This is also the place to stop a taxi. I'd adise to discuss the price before with the driver before getting in. The city centre isn't that big big but very cosy. People are friendly in general and there is a large amount of shops to meet visitors needs, quite cheap as well. I thought it would be fun to see Funchal out of the sky so I took the cable car ride to Monte
which gave me nice views on the city and its surroundings. A nice alternative to head back to Funchal is to take one of the 'slide baskets'. This traditional means of transportation slides the way down to Funchal as it is only descending. Don't worry you won't miss a turn thanks to the Madeiran that will accompany you by conducting the slide. I didn't do this myself but heard from several people it is mucho mucho fun and goes quite fast!